Meet the Rising Stars regional winners: the South East’s five top early-stage companies

Kane Fulton, December 14, 2020 5 min read

Rising Stars is the UK’s only national competition for innovative, early-stage tech companies. Last year, 10 companies were crowned Rising Stars 2.0 Winners at our London Grand Final. Now, five regional winners for each region and nation across the UK will compete nationally for the chance to be named as one of the 10 winners of Rising Stars 3.0. Read on to find out more about our five South East regoinal winners – Glimpse Protocol, Percept Imagery, Port.im, That Works For Me, and Worldr.

Glimpse Protocol

A revolutionary advertising platform with privacy at its core, Glimpse Protocol have invented a new data model to allow online businesses to reach precise consumer audiences, while protecting consumer privacy and without using any third-party data sources. They offer an ethical, compliant and efficient ad marketplace for advertisers and publishers. CEO and cofounder Mark Stoter spoke to Tech Nation.

How does it feel to be a Rising Stars regional winner?

We’re thrilled that Glimpse Protocol has been chosen as a Rising Stars winner for the South East. We’re excited to showcase a new, ethical approach to advertising with our breakthrough privacy technology.

Percept Imagery

Percept Imagery enables personalized shopping experiences that blend online and real worlds. Their augmented reality platform, Sprie, enables retailers to personalize online shopping by allowing shoppers to try out products in the real world before purchasing them. Sprie seamlessly integrates AR with existing brand eCommerce websites, social pages or QR Codes, and enables retailers to showcase entire inventories without the need to download an app. Cofounder Akshay Saswade spoke to Tech Nation.

How does it feel to be a Rising Stars regional winner?

2021 looks like a very exciting year in Percept Imagery’s growth story and we are thrilled to represent Brighton and the South East.

What is it like being a tech company based in the South East?

The region has a very strong tech ecosystem and growth programmes that supports scaleups. The BRITE programme, Natwest Accelerator, Digital Catapult and Wired Sussex has provided us with some great networking, growth and collaboration opportunities.

Port.im

Making GDPR simple, Port.im manages the complexities of complying with privacy regulations like the GDPR and The Data Protection Act 2018. PORT.im makes businesses safe from the risks of non-compliance and gives them the tools they need to demonstrate they can be trusted to manage personal information responsibly. It combines smart software, expert guidance and optional data protection insurance into one affordable monthly subscription. Cofounder and CEO Julian Saunders spoke to Tech Nation.

How does it feel to be a Rising Stars regional winner?

We are delighted to be selected to represent the South East as we set about revolutionising privacy compliance for startups. With new features launching and an imminent investment round, the timing couldn’t be better for us.

What is it like being a tech company based in the South East?

We’re passionate about privacy and the potential for personal data to enhance the lives of all as we take on today’s tech challenges created by Covid-19. We’re based in the beautiful Sussex village of Hurstpierpoint but our secure online Privacy Centers are essential to businesses throughout the UK.

That Works For Me

Small businesses and agencies often stop themselves accessing the expert help they need and deserve, because they believe they’re too small or can’t fill a full time role. That Works For Me is a digital platform that allows businesses to access thousands of experienced professionals, ranging from social media managers to lawyers – all looking to work flexibly, remotely and outside of the ‘9 to 5’. Over 90% of businesses find the skills they need. CEO and cofounder Jessica Heagren spoke to Tech Nation.

How does it feel to be a Rising Stars regional winner?

Being a Tech Nation Rising Star winner for the South East region feels absolutely incredible. There has never been a better time to raise the profile of the work we’re doing to match experienced, talented working parents with growing businesses that need their help. Having such a well-respected and credible organisation recognise our work gives us even more drive and inspiration to keep working hard (around our families!).

What is it like being a tech company based in the South East?

I’m originally from the South East (near Chichester) and despite years living in London, it’s this area I came back to when it was time to have a family of my own. I love being an hour from London and less than an hour from the beach. It’s home! Through That Works For Me I’ve learnt loads about my local community and connected with a tonne of local businesses.

We’ve also had support from Portsmouth University via their SIGHT programme, giving us access to brains and resources that we might never have come across otherwise. My business partner is based in Leeds, so we have also benefited from support in the Yorkshire area, joining the Leeds Digital forum and the She Does Digital movement to learn from others and collaborate with likeminded entrepreneurs. It’s been amazing connecting with people locally – there’s nothing quite like a local network for learning what support is out there and more often than not, finding opportunities to work together.

Worldr

Worldr is a privacy and security focused alternative to Slack. They deploy into large organisations who are not able to use third-party communication tools because of the threat they represent to data security. Worldr combines the usability of cutting-edge communication with the security of an in-house application. Founder and CEO Max Buchan spoke to Tech Nation.

How does it feel to be a Rising Stars regional winner?

We’re so excited to be able to represent technology in the South East. It’s fantastic to receive this recognition just as we start rolling out Worldr through the UK and Brazil.

What is it like being a tech company based in the South East?

We were fortunate early on in our journey to receive support from Oxford Innovation and EEN. This gave us an adviser to turn to with any issues, and it also led to some helpful introductions. Ultimately, they were instrumental in Worldr securing almost £300k in Innovate UK funding, as well as being able to work closely with a fantastic ITA at the Department for International Trade.

South East